To the Ministry's main lobby concert setlists
concert setlists
previous up next

070608-12. © NRT, 2008
Caton Moor Wind Farm, near Lancaster, UK, 7 June, 2008

The door at the base of the nearer tower gives some idea of scale, but the tower itself is 59 m tall, giving an overall tip height of ~95 m. The nominal output* of each REpower turbine is 2 MW, so the eight units can, in theory, supply 8,946 'average' homes, or 1-in-20 houses in Lancaster. That compares rather favourably to the original ten Windmaster turbines installed in 1994, which had a collective output of only 3 MW.

Incidentally, the repowering project has been falsely cited by anti-windpower campaigners as 'evidence' that turbines have a very short lifespan. In the eleven years the ten Windmasters were operating, there were only two gearbox failures (admittedly that's according to the operating company) and the turbines were functional until the day they were replaced. They were obsolete, but not 'broken'.
Caton Moor was one of the first commercial wind farms in the UK, using immature technology which, frankly, perhaps wasn't the best for the situation. Eleven years of practical experience (both specifically on-site and generally within the industry worldwide) informed what seems to have been a better choice; there's no reason to think the REpower turbines will be removed so soon.
I'm no Green, and certainly don't support windpower generation blindly, but bogus claims (by either side) need to be refuted.

*: Nominal and actual outputs differ slightly: according to a different manufacturer's published specifications, optimal output of comparible turbines is at a wind speed of 15 m/s and generation has to shut down in winds above 25 m/s. I happen to know (this was part of my PhD research catchment, remember?) the average recorded wind speed on Caton Moor between 1994 and 2000 was 8.38 m/s. However, the physics means average wind speed is of limited relevance (a tiny change in speed can have a huge impact on generation) and though not a panacæa, the wind farm is still a very worthwhile supplement to Heysham's nuclear reactors.

Site Home Tull Tour History Annotated Passion Play The Blog
Day in the life... © NRT, 2008